What is an expert?
Someone who is twenty miles from home.
A casual polo shirt taken from Mark Lundy's car was found to have two tiny stains when forensically examined some time after the murders.
A critical piece of evidence presented in the trial was that one of these tiny stains contained Christine's brain tissue.
Christine's DNA was found in the stains by the New Zealand ESR laboratory.
This in itself may not be remarkable and we wonder how often the DNA from a wife will be found on a man's casual shirt. Normal things like perspiration and saliva would surely provide this DNA. ( How many people get rid of small stains using a bit of 'spit' on a hanky? )
After a number of forensic laboratories in New Zealand, Britain and the USA had apparently considered the identification of tissue type as unlikely, a Texan pathologist Mr. Rodney T. Miller M.D. took up the challenge. Based on some work with his own clothing and a chicken, he found he was able to identify tissue fragments on a shirt.
Mr. Miller's own article on this work was published on his website we have mad this atrical available here Propath Focus Jan 2003 (Note: you will need Adobe Acrobat reader to read this )
Whilst we acknowledge Mr. Miller's expertise and innovative approach, we are concerned that such a new procedure should be used as major evidence to convict a man of murder. We feel that such procedures should be peer reviewed by other experienced forensic pathologists and immunohistochemists before being used in a court of law.
We are not aware of any such peer reviews or the use of this technique anywhere else in the world for this purpose, and welcome any information on this matter.
Is it possible that the tissue was not human, but a meat product from a supermarket package, for instance? Mark did go to a supermarket to get some food on the day before the murders were discovered. Beef, pork and lamb brains can be found in supermarket chillers, as can chicken necks, and perhaps Mark came in contact with leakage from a package directly or indirectly.
Could Christine have tried to remove a small mark from the such a stain using the "spit on a hanky" technique?
We also consider it unfair that Public money was used to pay for travel related to Mr. Miller's work and evidence, but was denied to the defence for an opinion from a British forensic expert.
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